Yellow Jackets in Crawl Space

Old 02-06-05, 05:14 PM
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Unhappy Yellow Jackets in Crawl Space

This past summer I had yellow jackets in a garden next to my house exterminated. A number of them escaped and flew up to an eave of the house, where they appeared to be going in and out. The exterminator told me to caulk that area of the house in the winter, which I intend to do. However, if I do that, won't they still be inside and in the spring start coming into the house through the attic and the vents? They snuck into a crawl space area, where attic insulation is. Many thanks for any advice.
Old 02-06-05, 06:25 PM
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You need to block entry points with fine wire screen mesh. Any nest removal or other control attempts should be done at the edge of dark when they tend to return to the nest and become dormant. Always protect yourself with long sleeves and pants. If you block the entrance, bees will remain in nest. You can slip a plastic bag over nest and cut off the nest and dispose of contents. There are jet stream pesticides for bees and wasps. The best bet is to use one that paralyzes and stuns bees immediately. Not all insecticides and pesticides are available in all areas so it might be a good idea to contact your local Dept. of Agriculture Extension Agent. If you choose to use a commercial product, read and follow product label directions carefully.
Old 02-07-05, 12:11 PM
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Most yellowjacket species make annual nests. That is, they start in the spring, grow during the summer and die in the fall. Only fertilized queens survive through the winter. These queens are responsible for starting the new nests the following spring. The yellowjackets you saw may have been queens looking for a place to "overwinter" or workers that were out of the nest when it was treated and were therefore "orphaned". The queens probably won't build a nest in your attic but it won't hurt to install sceens on vents. The workers would have died shortly without a nest. The fact that you had a (ground nest?) eliminated last summer really has no bearing on whether or not new nests will be established nearby this spring. So, you may not need to do anything.
One last comment, the "wasp and hornet" sprays available at lawn and garden stores are for yellowjackets not honey bees. It is illegal to spray insecticides on a honey bee hive as these insects are considered to be beneficials. There are exceptions to this (africanized bees) but not in your area. Good luck.
Also, I'd encourage posters to say where they are. This often is important in formulating a response.
Old 02-07-05, 06:28 PM
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Thanks for the answers! Jack, I had not realized that most of these critters died over the winter. I thought they went dormant, and woke up smiling in the spring, ready to make everyone's life miserable. Maybe I need to read up more on local insect life....
Old 03-07-05, 09:06 AM
Scott Mackay
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Hi! We have a new house and suffered a similar problem this past year.
Is there a particular type of calk which would be good to seal off small opening in the roof (like where the trim is up a bit, enough for those critters)?

Old 03-11-05, 06:27 AM
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Bees In My Bonnet!!!!!!!!!

Hi I hope someone out there can help me. I live in Western Mass, and this is a first for me.. I have BEES in my house. What is so odd about this is that it is winter! I saw the first one flying around the light in the back hallway on February 22. Since then I have seen 4 more.and it is only March 11th..including one yesterday and one dead on the floor this morning. They appear to be yellow jackets. How would I begin to tackle this problem when I cant figure out where they are coming from. One was in the back hall,, one was in the livingroom 2 were in the kitchen and the other was near the hall. I am freaking out thinking as in a Wes Craven movie .... there is a nest the size of my house in the attic or something. I thought they were all dead or dormant in winter.. We have had plenty of snow and freezing temperatures believe me...Somebody HELLLLLLPPPPPPP!!!!!!!
Old 03-11-05, 08:59 AM
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Sometimes yellowjackets make nests in the walls of houses. This is not unusual and no reason to panic. Because the house provides them with shelter and warmth the nests don't die in winter as do most outdoor nests. My guess is this nest is starting to come out of a winter dormancy. You'll need to locate the nest. Try to identify the room(s) where they are seen. The nest is likely in the exterior walls of this room or adjacent room. Then listen on the walls with a drinking glass. You'll hear a rustling sound when you get near the nest. These yellowjackets don't pose a real danger and won't hurt the house but they need to be located and removed before summer. You may need the services of a good pest control company to do the actual treatment. Good luck.
Old 03-11-05, 05:00 PM
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Thanks so much for your help! We will try to locate the nest and clearly if we cant do it soon we will call in an expert. Not crazy about the idea that they are all buzzing around inside my walls.

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